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'Unholy commotion at church'

By LULAMILE FENI, Daily Dispatch | Nov 13, 2012 | COMMENTS [ 85 ]

A MTHATHA church resembled a battlefield as congregation members armed with knives, pangas, sjamboks and guns turned on one another when a fight broke out between rival groups.

Bible-clutching women wearing bright red and white church uniforms were forced to flee as fellow Methodist Church of Southern Africa members attacked other worshippers in a church yard at Mazizini village near Mthatha on Sunday morning.

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said “miraculously no worshippers were seriously injured during the unholy commotion”.

“Police were dispatched to the church after a panicking villager phoned that worshippers were attacking each other with dangerous weapons,” said Fatyela.

He said the fight allegedly started after one of the Wesleyan Circuit church’s two feuding groups erected a marquee at 8am in the church yard for a ceremony.

“Another group claiming to be owners of the church hall and said they had not been consulted and confronted those who erected the marquee. A fight then ensued. We believe that pangas, knobkerries and sjamboks were used and guns drawn according to the congregates. But police found no guns.” The Dispatch has seen a cellphone picture taken by a worshipper showing a man holding an object which resembles a shot gun.

Fatyela appealed to members of the public to assist police in their investigations. He said no cases had been opened and no arrests made.

Police had to dismantle the marquee from the church yard to avoid further confrontation.

It was later re-erected in the yard of a church member nearby.

When a Dispatch team arrived at the village, hundreds of church members were seen peacefully worshipping in the marquee and women were busy cooking meat and samp over a fire using three-legged pots.

Church member Sinto Magqira said he had been sjambokked.

“They (rival group members) attacked us with sjamboks. One of us was slightly stabbed with a knife.

“They beat the hell out of us.

“They drew two firearms, a pistol and shotgun. No shots were fired. They concealed the firearms before police arrived,” he alleged.

 The fight is believed to be related to divisions in the church over Wesleyan Circuit superintendent, Reverend Mninindawo Magadla. One section of the church is demanding that he be transferred from the circuit in which he served two terms totalling 11 years. Another group has demanded he stay on.

On January 8 Magadla was assaulted and his bakkie damaged while going to church. The attack was allegedly carried out by church members.

 It is alleged that members who erected the marquee on Sunday in Mazizini included a group of 13 who have been charged with the Reverend’s assault. The case is pending in Mthatha Regional Court.

Circuit church steward Pat Toni, who described the fight as unholy, said they were divided over Magadla.

“There are those who want him, and us who want him to leave. He has overstayed himself and is now a dictator,” said Toni.

Toni alleged his group were victims in the Sunday brawl.

“We came to peacefully worship when we were assaulted. We are going to open a case,” he said.

Source: Dispatch

COMMENTS [ 85 ]

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joyful
But this is sad - sad that only one man is in the middle of it all!

The reverend, if he truly has the calling - should persue peace at all price. that is what the Word says!

he should be able to call the 2 sactions together, introduce a new pastor and giv his support - then resign! as a shepherd he should put the best interest of God's flock before his own interest!***88
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I agree

Nov 13, 2012 11:43 | 0 replies

Dubul'Amanzi - I can speak a little bit of Xhosa, mostly Zulu though.

Nov 13, 2012 12:30 | 0 replies

Mgeez: It is so gratifying to see that I made an impression.

Nov 13, 2012 12:33 | 0 replies

MGEEZ
@Bumboklaat
@RobinX
Indeed RobinX is the former RobinH; you cant miss tha; all the traits are there. He knows everything and if you dare disagree with him; either you are a knucle, a twit or you even need to grow a brain; just to mention a few of his vocabulary and to him this condescending attitude is perfectly normal and if you do not like it go fly a kite as he would say or find a mirror for a toy!!!
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Tempers are flying here

Nov 13, 2012 12:34 | 0 replies

We have a double ZCC, and the Shembe Church will also be double now my lovely Wesile is doubling up eishhhhhh

Nov 13, 2012 12:36 | 0 replies

Akusibobonke aboyothi Nkosi Nkosi aboyowubona umbuso wezulu. Izwe liya ekugcineni lungisani indlela yenu

Nov 13, 2012 12:38 | 0 replies

Eishhh Xhosa's and Eastern Cape again???? fighting for positions at church, chasing a minister away or unholy war??? it's what they always do, they are so used to that- Baqhelile maba yekwe babulalane qha.

Nov 13, 2012 12:39 | 0 replies

funny characters here...where is Goaaaatyyyyyy

Nov 13, 2012 12:41 | 0 replies

Robin and Antie

I said it's colonialism because thats what it is. I did not mention apartheid but it also left an effect on some of our people, whether you guys aprrove of my opinion or not I frankly don't give a m0nkey's b@lls. I have seen the effects of the past, whether it be colonialism or apartheid the fact remains it has affected my people to an extent that they feel that their own cultures and customs are inferior to that of westerners. I will not take kindly to you insulting me and saying I blame colonialism or apartheid. I don't condone people blaming apartheid for their lack of morals or for the fact that they are unemployed. I certainly don't blame apartheid for the fact that I can not afford a house and a car. But I will express my opinion about it's effects on my people because I see it everyday!

Nov 13, 2012 12:56 | 0 replies

Never a dull moment in SA, I wonder in other countries?

Nov 13, 2012 12:22 | 0 replies

!#Sinudeity#!
Dubul'Amanzi - At the moment, the two languages I use the most at home is Java and C#.
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You speak Xhosa,ngikubamba ngomoya,yaz kuthi ngikutshele indaba zakho If you don't mind.

Nov 13, 2012 12:11 | 0 replies